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Thompson to hand in licence at the end of the month

Victor Thompson: plans to spend more time on his farm
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Northumberland-based owner-trainer Vic Thompson has cited the younger generation's attitude to work as one of the reasons behind calling time on his training career, which has spanned half a century.

The 73-year-old, who is set to disperse his 17-strong team at Goffs UK sales at Doncaster this month, is still riding out three or four lots a day due to staffing levels – often depleted further by late absence –something he says is unsustainable.

Instead of continuing with his demanding schedule, Thompson has decided to concentrate on his farming business at his 500-acre property at Newton-by-the-Sea, 20 miles from the Scottish border.

Thompson, who has three entries at Newcastle on Saturday, aims to have runners right up to the date of the sales on January 25 and 26.

He said: "It will be sad to see the horses go but it's hard to get people to work for you on a consistent level these days and I can't carry on riding three or four lots out when someone doesn't turn up.

"It's been a great hobby to have alongside the farming, but the work ethic of younger people means it's harder than ever to get staff. I had a decent head lass about ten years ago who could fill in when I was busy, but it's become increasingly hard in the last few years."

Thompson, who has his most recent winner, Sharivarry, among the consignment, recalled: "My best horse was probably Jethro's Cat, who finished fourth in the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival. It must have been a long time ago as we ran him at Teesside Park [Stockton] beforehand – and that closed in 1981!"

It will be sad to see the horses go but it's hard to get people to work for you on a consistent level these days and I can't carry on riding three or four lots out
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